Reviewer:Steve White -
February 13, 2014 Subject:
Have a look at the original.
The Soviet original "The Heavens Call" is really a good space drama for the time, if you overlook the obligatory glorious propaganda (to be fair, many U.S. sci-fi films at the time featured propaganda too).
The space scenes are top-notch for the time, and some scenes (such as Mars rising over the asteroid) were totally new and weren't repeated again for many years. The space ships were better than most Western fare, and the space station is far more elaborate than any Western attempt.
Women are depicted in positions of authority -- in contrast to what was shown in the West.
But due to the tensions at the time, a simple overdub would be unshowable in the U.S. Well, some simple plot adjustments were in order.
Corman and Coppola made a mess of it -- explanatory scenes are cut for no apparent reason, and truly dull, protracted "glorious" scenes are retained. The reason for the "bad guys" spaceship going off course (Sun's magnetic field, etc) is just gibberish. The monsters--are just an insult to everybody--I think Corman slipped a cog here. Corman left his name off the thing in shame.
As to the asteroid orbiting Mars...that's also in the original -- it is indeed inexplicable.
February 1, 2012 Subject:
One of several Iron Curtain films that Corman picked up because, at the time, there was no such thing as copyright in the USSR! Francis Ford Coppolla's first directing gig...he directing the battle of the genital monsters that was added in because this flick was so dull. Carmen Coppolla was the FATHER of Francis Ford (He's occassionally credited as Carmine, no doubt because of gender confucsion) and a well-known conductor in NYC at the time. The original framing story of the whole thing being a daydream of a reporter was discarded, and instead of Russians saving Americans we got this North and South Hemis BS tacked on. Why Corman didn't use the name of an actual satellite of Mars instead of a made-up one is a mystery.
January 31, 2012 Subject:
Interesting first try!
Very interesting in some ways. Did you notice that the associate producer was Francis Ford Coppola? Wow! I wonder what he says about this film? How old was he? Also, someone named Carmen Coppola was in the credits. Is she related to Mr. Coppola?
So there are some interesting elements in this film.
February 5, 2010 Subject:
There is no battle. Dubbed Russian sci fi, so glacially slow moving even the cast looks bored, and you'll swear the female launch director is stoned out of her skull. Average special effects provided by miniatures take up much of the film. A ponderous historical relic of the Soviet era that is not devoid of subtle propaganda. Drink three cups of coffee before watching.